Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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State starts accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses

CARSON CITY — The state began accepting applications today from people who want to be in the medical marijuana business.

Before the application process closes in 10 days, an estimated 400 to 500 proposals will be filed for marijuana dispensaries and cultivation, processing and testing facilities. In the first two hours, fewer than 20 applications were submitted.

“We’re well prepared,” said Chad Westom, chief of the state’s medical marijuana program. Twelve new employees have been hired for the program and there are 12 contractors to help with the background checks.

The 2013 Legislature approved a bill to set up a regulatory system for the distribution of medical marijuana.

The law allows 66 dispensaries statewide, with 40 in Clark County. Medical marijuana businesses require state and local government approval.

Those who apply to run a marijuana business will be rated on a point system that takes into account their background and financial resources. Those who want to operate a dispensary must have liquid assets of at least $250,000.

The state has until Nov. 2 to complete the licensing process.

For dispensaries, there is a non-refundable application fee of $5,000, and a $30,000 fee for those approved, with an annual renewal of $5,000.

Cultivation and processing facilities will pay $3,000 for a license and an annual renewal fee of $1,000. Testing labs licenses are $5,000 with a $1,000 annual renewal fee.

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